Are you curious about the origin of your ancestors? With the right resources, you can uncover the places of origin of your family tree. The National Archives and Records Administration has a wealth of resources for genealogists, including state censuses, Native American records, and Pioneer certificates. If these don't work, searching the records of your ancestor's spouse and children can provide you with the clues you need. Once you have determined the country of origin, search for a national index of vital or civil records (births, deaths, marriages) or a national census or other enumeration of that country in the period in which your ancestor was born.
It is not enough to know the country; you will normally have to go to the city or village level to successfully locate your ancestor's records. The next goal of your search for the place of birth is to find a record or other source that specifically tells you where to start looking in your ancestor's country of origin. If your ancestors came from a country that didn't record these events, or from a period before they began, parish church records are another good option. Even if you find a particular candidate this way, you'll also want to follow the other steps to verify that the person with the same name in the old country is really your ancestor.Also keep in mind that many public libraries, state archives, historical societies, and universities host free digitized records on their own websites.
If you want to find your ancestors for free, you might have to do a little more research. If you're curious about the origin of an ancestor, hearing any family origin story about that ancestor is a good first step. For other countries, a Google search for your ancestor's country of origin and the word “immigration” should help you find great resources.It's important to remember that most countries, especially in the early periods, don't have national indices, and if they do, there may be many different people in an index with the same name and approximate age as their ancestor. We would love to help you with your family background, whether it's finding the origin of your immigrant ancestors, discovering the stories of your ancestors, or using DNA analysis to solve a genealogical “brick wall”.When searching for your ancestors' places of origin, it's important to remember that their last residence before emigrating may not necessarily be their place of birth.
Learn everything you can about your immigrant ancestor so that you can identify it in the relevant records and distinguish it from others with the same name.